Technical: How the development race continued in Suzuka

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Championship runaway leader Max Verstappen and Red Bull might have opened up a gap in the championship standings, but the Milton Keynes-based team still continues its relentless development push. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó delivers his technical review after the Japanese Grand Prix.

Red Bull

Following a difficult weekend in Australia, Red Bull displayed jaw-dropping pace in Suzuka once again. Similar to last season, the RB20 appeared to enjoy the elongated medium- and high-speed corners of the Suzuka circuit. The Milton Keynes-based outfit brought their first significant upgrade package in 2024, introducing a raft of aerodynamic developments.

The team equipped the area next to the cockpit with an extra inlet that is much further forward compared to the inlets that sit in the channel behind the cockpit. Red Bull stated that this revised location was technically for the “sidepod mounted primary heat exchangers.”

Furthermore, the team has made tweaks to the floor of the RB20 which included some subtle surface changes and an increased camber to help improve flow to the floor edge wing.

A circuit-specific upgrade centred around the front corner with the team equipping the car with smaller inlet and exit ducts for the front brakes. It was possible due to the low brake energy demands of Suzuka which allowed a reduction of inlet and therefore exit ducts which is more efficient than blanking the ducts used at earlier events.


While Ferrari are reported to work on an excessive upgrade package for the Imola round, the Scuderia debuted a new rear wing configuration in Japan.

The team tested a higher downforce rear wing and lower beam wing designs, stating that it was brought to Japan as rain was predicted for the weekend. The higher downforce rear and the beam wings have been fully carried over from the 2023 season, and will be part of the downforce selection pool for later races.

The Maranello-based squad also brought a performance upgrade in the form of a reprofiled rearwards leg fairing of the top rear wishbone.The team noted that this "minor rear suspension fairing upgrade features a longer chord profile, with local flow conditioning improvements and positive interaction with surrounding components, bringing a small efficiency increase."


In Japan, McLaren arrived at a track which has been one of their strongest in 2023 due to high-speed corners of the Suzuka circuit.

The team debuted only a circuit-specific upgrade in Round 4 of the 2024 F1 season, making alterations to the front brake ducts. Due to the lower cooling requirements, the Woking-based outfit used a smaller front brake duct in order to chase aerodynamic gains.

Aston Martin

Despite the mouth-watering qualifying performances, Aston Martin has been struggling for race pace so far in 2024, something which was one of the strengths of their 2023 F1 car.

The Silverstone-based outfit has brought a big update to Suzuka with a complete re-working of the bodywork and the underbody, comprising fundamental changes to the geometry of the fences, the floor edges and the floor body.

The team stated that the "revised floor fences improve the flow field under the floor increasing the local load generated on the lower surface and hence performance." The floor edge wing has been reduced in order to "improve the flow field under the floor increasing the local load generated on the lower surface and hence performance."

The team also made tweaks to the diffuser with the greater expansion rate aimed at exploiting the new floor geometry.


Alpine's dismal start to the 2024 F1 season has been well documented. The team has appeared to be the slowest outfit so far, and the Japanese Grand Prix confirmed this negative trend. Interestingly, the team looked slightly more competitive in qualifying trim in Suzuka, but slipped down the order in the race.

The Enstone-based squad introduced three performance-related upgrades in Suzuka. A new front wing made debut, sporting modified flaps and a new endplate arrangement. The new design led to a more offloaded outboard section which should give an efficient drag saving compared to the previous wing.

Moreover, the front brake drum featured a revised ducting arrangement. The changes were introduced to create a more efficient inlet flow in conjunction with the aforementioned new front wing compared to the previous version.

The team also introduced a non-biplane rear beam wing which should increase load in the floor compared to the previous version.


While Williams were forced to concentrate on the repair job of Alexander Albon's chassis following his heavy shunt in Australia, the team brought several upgrades to Japan.

The development included two circuit-specific changes. The rear wing that was used in Suzuka had smaller upper elements, providing an efficient drop in downforce and drag. Moreover, a new beam wing also appeared, sporting a smaller area in order to lower the load and hence the drag on the Suzuka circuit where aerodynamic efficiency is extremely important.

The front wing has gone through a performance-related upgrade. The rearmost 2 elements have been reprofiled and their junction with the endplate has been heavily modified. The team stated that the updated geometry should positively change the control of the front tyre flow structures and also affect the flow field further rearward on the car, improving both the overall downforce of the car and the characteristics of the downforce delivery.


RB submitted two performance upgrades in Suzuka with both tweaks concentrating on the floor of the car.

The profiles of the floor fences and the shape of the underfloor have been updated for Suzuka with the team hoping that the changes achieve greater local load from the underfloor whilst maintaining or improving the flow quality downstream. In combination of these changes, the floor edge wing has also been altered to increase loading of the underfloor.

Kick Sauber

Having suffered race-deciding issues during pit stops so far this season, Kick Sauber has constantly brought smaller upgrades to its car in 2024.

At the Japanese Grand Prix, the Hinwil-based outfit introduced tweaks to the design of its floor, altering its body and edges, mostly in the front and middle sections. The team hopes that the "new floor, with extended fences and redesigned front and middle parts, improves the airflow and the stability of the car, improving aerodynamic efficiency of the whole package."

Haas and Mercedes did not submit any updates for the Japanese Grand Prix.